To the Editor:
It is a matter of historical record that the heart of the Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate as a tool to achieve universal health care coverage, was a 1989 Heritage Foundation proposal, and it initially was supported by most Republicans, ironically including some who oppose it now.
There is always room for measured debate on specific provisions within ACA. In my opinion, there were too many provisions stuffed within the bill. We still are discovering onerous taxes and other broad swatches of the law that should never have been included and need to be repealed.
But today’s conservatives, in their blind opposition to all of ACA, are shooting themselves in the foot. They are unintentionally pushing American health care down the slippery slope toward a full government takeover. They are unwittingly making the liberals’ case for a single-payer system.
As a political centrist and 37-year veteran of the health insurance industry (though my views are my own), I can vouch that our health care system is notoriously complex. Costs are high because the only ways to lower them would be inconsistent with free markets.
Let ACA work to broaden coverage within our largely private health insurance system. Skillfully carve out the bad parts of this complex law. But to my conservative friends, I must say that blind opposition and deliberate distortion of ACA only make the liberals’ work easier by allowing them to say, “ACA doesn’t work, so America should move to a single-payer system.”